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Forgotten Islands of Papua New Guinea | Kavieng - Cairns | 12 Nights

Discovering the Bismarck & Louisiade Archipelagos

12 Nights | Departing Kavieng 4 December 2023 | Arriving Cairns 16 December 2023 | Onboard Coral Adventurer

Board your charter flight from Cairns to begin a 12-night expedition weaving through remote islands that have witnessed history through millennia, from villages untouched by time to more recent artifacts at World War 2 battlegrounds.

At Ataliklikun Bay, be aboard the first cruise ship ever to visit the village and watch the mesmerising Fire Dance of the Baining people. Tour the ghost town of Rabaul, the base for 110,000 Japanese troops during World War 2. See the intact ‘zero’ fighter in the shallow waters of Deboyne Bay. Witness the traditional canoe building culture of remote Laughlan Atoll and hike to the Dei Dei hot springs. Interact with enthusiastic villagers at Kuiawa in the Trobriand Islands – the Islands of Love. Disembark in Cairns at the end of a fascinating journey through time.


Expedition Highlights

  • See the famous Baining Fire Dance at Ataliklikun Bay, where men wearing enormous masks leap over the red-hot coals of a fire
  • Visit Jacquinot Bay in East New Britain and take an Xplorer cruise up the Tivoli River, known for its crystal clear waters
  • Visit remote Laughlan atoll, known for its canoe building culture
  • Spend two days in the rarely visited Louisiade Archipelago – a wonderland of volcanic and coral islands. Kayak in the crystal clear waters of the Calvados Islands
  • Visit the biological jewel that is Woodlark Island – home to at least 42 species that exist nowhere else on earth, including the Woodlark cuscus
  • Visit Kuiawa Island in the Trobriands – known as the ‘Islands of Love’
  • Hike to Dei Dei Hot springs and hear about its mythical legends from local guides



Coral Adventurer Twin Share Per Person Sole Use*
Bridge Deck Balcony Suite 22,390 n/a
Bridge Deck Balcony Stateroom 17,390 n/a
Explorer Deck Balcony 15,940 23,910
Promenade Deck 11,940 17,910
Coral Deck 9,940 14,910

Prices are per person, listed in Australian Dollars (AUD) and include GST. *Limited sole use occupancy available.

Optional Charter flight: From Cairns to Kavieng, approx. $850 per person. Limited seats available, contact our reservations team.


Travel Update - Covid Page



Embark:Board at 4:00 pm at Kavieng for a 6:00 pm departure
Disembark:Arrive at 9:00 am at Cairns

Optional Charter flight: From Cairns to Kavieng. $850 per person. Limited seats available, contact our reservations team.

These are expedition itineraries covering remote regions. Your Captain and Expedition Team may make changes to the daily schedule when necessary to maximise guest experience. Visiting these remote communities is subject to approval of the local landowners. Below are the highlight destinations of your voyage.

Kavieng > Atiliklikun Bay > Duke of York Islands & Rabaul > Jacquinot Bay > Kuiawa, Trobriands > Woodlark Island > Laughlan Atoll > Louisiade Archipelago – East > Louisiade Archipelago – West > Twin Towers,  Dobu & Fergusson Islands > Samarai & Ebuma Island > Cairns

Day 1: Depart Kavieng


Guests taking the charter from Cairns to Kavieng will enjoy a guided tour of the small city of Kavieng with its picturesque natural harbour, culturally-rich outlying villages and WWII history. Board Coral Geographer at Kavieng at 4:00pm for a 6:00pm departure. Settle into your cabin and relax as we set sail westwards towards New Hanover Sea. Join the Captain’s welcome drinks and meet your crew and fellow guests as the sun sets.

Ataliklikun Bay

Baining Fire Dance

In true expedition style, Coral Geographer will be the first cruise ship the village here has ever hosted! Take a nature walk and a tour of a local plantation to see copra production. In the evening witness the mesmerising Baining Fire Dance.

Duke of York Islands


The Duke of York Islands consist of 13 rarely visited islands. These low-lying islands feature tranquil waterways reflecting lush rainforest landscapes, but are known for tectonic activity, and are threatened by rising sea levels. There is a robust bird population found in this remote region, with many species endemic to New Britain. This is a great snorkeling location.


Rabaul Harbour Volcano

Rabaul was the main stronghold of the Japanese during the war with 110,000 Japanese troops based there by 1943. The Japanese army dug many miles of tunnels as shelters from Allied air attacks and built army barracks and support structure. Rabaul is perched on the edge of a magnificent natural harbour ringed by six cone-shaped volcanoes. Rabaul used to be the provincial capital and most important town in the province before it was destroyed by a volcanic eruption in 1994, after which time the capital was moved to Kokopo. We will have the opportunity for a tour of Rabaul ghost town and Kokopo – including the War Museum.

Jacquinot Bay

Jacquinot Bay

Jacquinot Bay has fascinating  WWII history, including a significant Allied amphibious landing, and was a base for Australian operators during the war.  We will explore the large bay on the eastern Coast of New Britain Island. See the waterfalls and take a cruise of the Sivoli River, known for its crystal clear water.

Kuiawa (Manuwata) Islands - Trobriand Islands


Historically known as the ‘Islands of Love’, the Trobriand Islands offer a glimpse of traditional cultures largely unspoiled by outside influence. In the morning, go ashore at the small island of Kuiawa to be greeted by enthusiastic traditional dances performed by colourfully costumed locals. Browse the market featuring local craftwork and relax on the pristine island beach in the afternoon.

Woodlark (Muyua) Island

CusCus TH

“Woodlark Island is a biological jewel—home to at least 42 species that occur nowhere else on Earth,” said William Laurance, a professor at James Cook University in Australia.  Woodlark, also known as Muyua, has never been linked to the mainland. Like on other islands necklacing New Guinea and isolated in the rough waters of the Pacific ring of fire, Woodlark’s flora and fauna have been left to explore the farthest branch tips of the tree of life. The forty-plus endemic species are found on an island just a little larger than New York City, and include the Woodlark cuscus (Phalanger lullulae), an extravagantly coloured tree-dwelling marsupial that’s listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Rich in resources, including gold, the island is threatened by plans for commercial logging and mining. Over the past decade, Woodlark Islanders have defended their forests from resource exploitation from outsiders.

Laughlan Islands - Bodaluna (Budi Budi) Island

In this remote corner of the world, Laughlan Islanders specialise in canoe building. The friendly villagers of Bodaluna share their lifestyle of subsistence gardening, fishing, and Kula ring trading.  Later, snorkel or dive on the outer reef, where we may see turtles, wrasse, and spinner dolphins in the warm, clear waters.

Louisiade Archipelago East & West


The Louisiade Archipelago rainforests are home to a number of endemic species of frogs, lizards and birds. Deboyne Lagoon is a must-see for history buffs. Acting as a Japanese seaplane base for five days during WWII, one can find a nearly intact ‘Zero’ fighter plane in the shallow waters of Deboyne Lagoon. This is also an excellent place to snorkel, dive or kayak and the locals who greet you at the beach are friendly and welcoming. The Calvados Islands, a chain of atolls in the archipelago, is described as ‘Jurassic Like’ due to their steep limestone karsts. Panasia Beach is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Papua New Guinea.

Twin Towers Reef & Dobu / Fergusson Islands

Day 10 PM Dei Dei (1)8

Join our Expedition Staff on a walk to Dei Dei Hot Springs on Fergusson Island, where the people share their mythical and spiritual tales of these hot water and mud springs located at the base of an extinct volcano. Locals still use the hot springs to cook food in palm frond baskets. Learn of the history of the Kula Ring at Dobu Island and meet the local primary school children, who will welcome us with a traditional song, and spend some time snorkeling in the Bubbling Springs Reef.

Samarai / Ebuma Island

Samarai Island

Located off the south-eastern tip of New Guinea in the China Strait, choose to explore the colonial settlement of Samarai, with a chance to purchase pearls from a local pearl farmer, or go for a snorkel at nearby Ebuma Island.

Day 12: Arrive Cairns

Cairns wharf departure port

Our voyage ends in Cairns where we disembark Coral Geographer at 9:00 am and bid farewell to new-found friends, the Master and crew. Post cruise transfer to Cairns CBD hotels or the airport is included.

December 2023

Departure Departure Arrival Arrival Cost Per Person Cost PP Ship Availability  
04 December 2023 04 Dec 2023 16 December 2023 16 Dec 2023 $9,940 to $17,390 $9,940 to $17,390 Coral Adventurer Available Book

Your cruise price includes:

  • An authentic, flexible expedition itinerary
  • Comprehensive and fully guided sightseeing in each destination
  • Snorkelling & equipment (SCUBA diving at additional cost)
  • Use of Xplorer, Zodiacs and Kayaks
  • Expert Expedition Team and Guest Lecturers
  • Lectures, workshops and demonstrations onboard
  • All meals, chef-prepared on board
  • Selected wines, beers, and spirits, juices, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell Events, and Open Bridge Access
  • 24-hour coffee and selection of teas
  • Post-cruise transfers (in most destinations)
  • All entrance fees to National Parks and Ports
  • Tips and gratuities

Your cruise price does not include:

  • Pre and post flights & accommodation
  • Entry visas/travel permits
  • SCUBA diving
  • Travel Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature including but not limited to phone and internet communications and bar charges (outside of the included drinks package as highlighted), laundry charges and souvenir purchases
  • Optional Extras in some destinations

Tipping not required

Other cruise lines automatically add gratitudes to your account and service charges to your bar invoices. At Coral Expeditions our crew have no other agenda than your delight.

Our friendly reservations specialists are on hand to assist with your booking arrangements to ensure your holiday runs as smoothly as possible. Contact our team on 1800 079 545 during business hours in Australia or email


Comprehensive Travel Insurance is strongly recommended for all travellers as protection against any unforeseen events that may necessitate the cancellation or interruption of your holiday and should be purchased at the same time as you purchase your cruise. Please refer to our Pre-Departure page for facts that should be considered and shared when speaking with Travel Insurance suppliers.

Additional Information:

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